Contrary to the mainstream media’s predictions, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party comfortably won a stable majority of 276 seats against unified opposition party candidates in the Oct. 31 Lower House election. The major newspapers’ editorials, however, were more divided than united over the results.

A conservative Sankei Shimbun editorial, for example, called the election a victory for the LDP and a “failure of the ‘joint struggle’ by the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party." It argued that “Kishida must achieve results with the new stable majority” and said “it's time to get serious about deterring China.”

The liberal Mainichi Shimbun, in contrast, asserted that “the prime minister must manage the government with humility” because the “failure of big-name politicians to win elections shows people’s distrust.” The paper urged Kishida to break with the old political ways on the grounds that “the nine years of the Shinzo Abe administration have seen a series of events that have eroded the public’s trust in politics.”